Major UK fleet operators have welcomed the idea of creating a national electric vehicle charging network by opening access to their workplace chargers to other businesses.
The concept, discussed at the October Fleet News at 10, drew interest from all operators who want the consistency of a reliable network which enables them to pre-book. It would greatly reduce their reliance on public chargers, while offering a return on investment by charging their fellow operators for use of the facilities.
Lorna McAtear, National Grid fleet manager, said: “As fleets, you look to minimise your costs so if you find a way to share your costs by, for example, opening up your charge points at the weekend for the public or sharing with other businesses, it makes sense. All solutions are viable, but it’s the details now, making sure the service provision is there so all operators can share when needed.”
Duncan Webb, ISS head of fleet agreed, adding: “You need some assurances and a booking system so you know when you are going to be there.”
Creating a national network of available chargers would influence where companies installed their chargers, according to Matt Hammond, M Group head of fleet.
“We’re rolling out chargers to our depots and something like this would make us consider where we put them – behind a fence in a locked compound round the back or in a more open car park at the front that could be utilised by other people,” he said. “It’s definitely got potential.”
Chris Connors: “We’re a construction company so we have the challenge that we can’t easily do workplace charging at our site locations. If somebody can’t charge at home or at the workplace, that’s an additional challenge. The two goals for us are, any time we have a vehicle parked it should be able to be charged and any time we have a charger, it should be in use. Our chargers will sit empty overnight so we have deliberately put them in the front cark park on pay as you go if a local resident wants to use them, they are there.”
Also discussed during the latest Fleet News at 10 broadcast were:
Government’s Net Zero report
Road pricing schemes
Vehicle shortages action plan
Winter driving advice